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Stocks Mill.jpg
Stocks Mill
Wittersham is located in Kent
Location within Kent
Area14.66 km2 (5.66 sq mi)
Population1,112 (Civil Parish 2011)[1]
• Density76/km2 (200/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ899274
Civil parish
  • Wittersham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTN30
Dialling code01797
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°00′54″N 0°42′22″E / 51.0151°N 0.706°E / 51.0151; 0.706Coordinates: 51°00′54″N 0°42′22″E / 51.0151°N 0.706°E / 51.0151; 0.706

Wittersham is a small village and civil parish in the borough of Ashford in Kent, England. It is part of the Isle of Oxney.


The Domesday Book of 1086 does not mention Wittersham, but it does assign the manor of Palstre to Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. Palstre was only one of four places in the Weald, apparently, that had a church. The Domesday Book entry reads:- "In Oxenai hundred, Osbern Paisforiere holds Palestrei, from the Bishop. It is taxed at three yokes. Arable land for two ploughs. In demesne, nine smallholders have half a plough. There is a church, 2 servants, 10 acres (40,000 m2) of meadow, 5 fisheries at twelve pence, woodland for the pannage of 10 hogs. In the time of Edward the Confessor, it was worth forty shillings, now sixty shillings. Edwy the priest held it for King Edward."

An early variation of the village name may be Wyghtresham.[2]


Early in the 18th century, the manor came into the ownership of Thomas Brodnax or May of Godmersham Park, Kent. May changed his name to Knight after inheriting estates from the Knight family in 1738 and, on his death in 1781, Owley passed to his son Thomas. The younger Thomas Knight died childless in 1794, and Owley passed to his widow Catherine, later of White Friars, Canterbury. Mrs Knight was lady of the manor in 1799, when Hasted wrote. When she died in 1812, her husband's estates passed to his adopted son, Edward Austen Knight, brother of novelist Jane Austen, and owner of Chawton House in Hampshire.

Some time later, Edward Knight appears to have sold Owley to William Levett of Bodiam. When he died in 1842, Levett owned both the manors of Palstre (where he lived) and Owley. He left Paltre to his elder daughter Sabina and Owley to his younger daughter Emily. His Will devised to Emily "my freeholds, messuages, buildings, farm lands, containing altogether, by estimation, one hundred and seventy-two acres, more or less, situate lying and being in the Parish of Wittersham aforesaid, commonly called or known by the name of Owley Farm, with the apportionments thereto belonging". Emily Levett married Samuel Rutley, and the Rutley family continued to own the manor until the end of the 19th century.

At the turn of the 20th century, by which time holding the manor had ceased to be equivalent with ownership of most land and property, the Body family held Wittersham, Colonel Heyworth held Palstre, and Mrs Samuel Rutley owned Owley.[3]


The village has an award-winning CAMRA approved public house, The Swan, and a restored white weatherboarded post mill, Stocks Mill.

Wittersham housed a key listening post for downed pilots over the channel during the Second World War; all that is left now is a small concrete house and a few craters dotted around from attacks by the Luftwaffe and several doodlebug (V1) strikes.

There is a popular and well-attended Community market every Tuesday morning in the Village Hall specialising in organic and local fresh food as well as a variety of other products.

Wittersham now has its own dedicated website www.wittersham.org run from within the village with information regarding local groups, businesses, what's on, and Lost & Found. The website is being continually improved and is currently funded by the Wittersham Parish Council.

Notable residents (past and present)[edit]


  1. ^ Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 10 May 2014
  2. ^ "AALT Page". Aalt.law.uh.edu. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 18 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Debrett's Distinguished People of Today[verification needed] (2007) ISBN 978-1-870520-90-4[page needed]
  5. ^ "George Digweed Sporting Agency | Clay Pigeon Shooting". Georgedigweed.com. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Obituary: Norman Hackforth". The Independent. London. 18 December 1996.
  7. ^ "New Year Honours: Paul Hutchinson". The News. Portsmouth. 31 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Sir Donald Sinden - People - Kent". Kent.greatbritishlife.co.uk. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Marc Sinden: former Mrs McCartney is 'the most misquoted lady I've ever met'". Liverpool Daily Post. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009.

External links[edit]